There is no cure for juvenile arthritis, but early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can lead to remission with little or no activity or symptoms of the disease. Treatment plans for juvenile arthritis include medication, lifestyle changes, complementary therapies such as acupuncture, and, in some cases, surgery.
Juvenile arthritis includes inflammatory and rheumatoid diseases that occur in children under the age of 16. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Juvenile lupus, Juvenile myositis, Juvenile scleroderma, Vasculitis,and Fibromyalgia..
The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve quality of life, slow or stop the progression of the disease, maintain joint function, prevent or avoid damage to joints and organs, and achieve long-term health. Is to minimize the impact of.Doctors who treat juvenile arthritis do their best to keep their children as active as possible.
The most common symptoms are joint pain, skin rash, dry, painful or sensitive eyes, dyspnea, malaise, diarrhea, bloating, and sometimes spike fever.
Over-the-counter (OTC) therapy
To relieve pain and inflammation Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) may be given as the first approach to treating juvenile arthritis. These drugs can also reduce fever in patients who experience high temperatures.
Although there is a risk of gastrointestinal side effects, many of these drugs have long-term safety records. The most common NSAIDs used for treatment are:
- Motrin (ibuprofen)
- Advil (ibuprofen)
- Arive (Naproxen)
Aspirin can also be used to treat pain and inflammation. Previously, aspirin was used before NSAIDs, but NSAIDs have become a standard option due to their ease of administration and few side effects.There is a risk of developing Reye syndrome If a child or adolescent takes aspirin while having chickenpox or the flu.
NSAIDs are the first line of defense in treating children with juvenile arthritis. Then prescription drugs are used. The main purpose of the drug is to reduce joint pain and inflammation and slow the progression of the disease.
Children who experience a more serious course of illness are sometimes prescribed drugs that suppress the body’s immune system. Recently, as science advances, biological agents are also being used to treat juvenile arthritis.
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARDs) help control the course of the disease. Methotrexate has been used for over 20 years in the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Patient Poor arthritis It works best when taking methotrexate (less than 5 joints affected), and there is some evidence that methotrexate can slow the progression of joint injuries.Children taking methotrexate should be avoided Live vaccine..
Corticosteroid A fast-acting anti-inflammatory drug that can also be used to treat juvenile arthritis. It is given as an injection in the clinic and is usually used to control the disease until other prescription drugs start to work.
Corticosteroid administration with simultaneous initiation of DMARD or biopharmacy treatment is known to produce a bridging effect. This type of treatment aims to quickly control inflammatory symptoms while waiting for the effects of other treatments to begin.
If NSAIDs, DMARDs, and corticosteroids are unable to slow or ameliorate the progression of the disease, biopharmacy can be prescribed alone or in combination with one of the other prescription therapies.
Biologics work by slowing the body’s immune response. Your child should be closely monitored because of the increased risk of infection while taking these medications.
These drugs include, but are not limited to:
Home remedies and lifestyle
Living with juvenile arthritis can be stressful. Symptoms can sometimes be overwhelming, and encouraging your child to take care of them can reduce stress and relieve some of those symptoms.
It is important to help your child maintain a healthy routine and engage in normal childhood activities. Regular school attendance, participation in sporting activities, and playing with friends should all be encouraged.
Monitoring the psychosocial impact on children and, if necessary, with the help of a pediatric psychologist can also have a positive impact on children’s well-being.
Exercise is safe and should be encouraged for children with juvenile arthritis.Exercise is important for all children, but especially for children with juvenile arthritis. Arthritis in childhood is associated with weakness around the affected joints and decreased bone mass and strength.
In one study, children engaged in a coordinated 6-month exercise program showed improved fatigue that led to more physical activity.
There is some evidence that a Mediterranean diet focused on anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grains can reduce inflammation and increase mobility in patients with arthritis.Avoiding inflammatory foods such as sugar and processed foods can also help.
For stiff joints, heat can be beneficial.Heat and cold are common home remedies for arthritis pain and stiffness, and there is scientific evidence that these treatments can relieve these symptoms.
Surgery and expert-led procedures
The need for surgery has diminished over the last two decades as more powerful treatments have been developed and early diagnosis has become more common. Treatment and early diagnosis greatly reduce the risk that a child will develop widespread joint injuries that require surgery.
Surgery may be required if there is a disability or if the pain interferes with daily mobility. There are four main types of surgery, depending on the effects of juvenile arthritis on the body.
Arthritis can interfere with the normal growth of the femur in the leg. When this happens, the child has legs of various lengths. Children with leg length mismatches of more than 2 centimeters and more than two years of growth may be candidates for this type of surgery.
This surgery closes the growth center of the long femur so that the short femur catches up. Recovery from this type of surgery is short and there are few complications.
If there is joint deformity Arthrodesis It can be corrected by removing the cartilage between the two bones that form the joint and holding the bones together with a rod or pin. Over time, these bones fuse into one hard, immobile bone.
Joint fusion can help stabilize joints, relieve pain, and help children better support their weight. However, when the joints fuse, the child will not be able to bend the joints. This can stress nearby joints and is not recommended for hips and knees.Common locations for this type of surgery are the ankles and feet, the hands and wrists, and the spine.
Arthroplasty is usually used as a last resort for severely deteriorated joints. Complications such as stunting and early failure of artificial joints are involved. However, total joint replacement can significantly reduce pain and restore mobility and function.
Most doctors try to delay surgery as much as possible so that the child can get the best possible results.Arthroplasty is usually done at the hip or knee.
The· Synovium A thin membrane that lines the joints. In juvenile arthritis, Chronic inflammation The membrane will thicken and may produce more liquid. This can affect the structure and function of the joint.
If the synovium does not respond to treatments such as corticosteroid injections, a synovectomy removes it. Synovectomy can provide children with immeasurable relief and restore function. However, the synovium may return and the pain may recur.
Some children may suffer from severe, swollen pain, and even a short relief is worth it. If the surgery is successful, you can repeat the procedure. Synovectomy is often done on the knees, wrists, and elbows.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
Besides lifestyle changes and medications, there are non-traditional treatments that have been studied and proven to be effective in managing some of the symptoms of juvenile arthritis.
Physical therapy and occupational therapy
Physical therapy or occupational therapy may be beneficial to children with juvenile arthritis. Therapists can help children learn the right exercises for their body and how to adapt to the limits they may be experiencing in their daily lives.
The therapist may also recommend splint fixation or braces to correct any deformities or deviations that can cause pain. Therapists help reduce joint pain and increase regular physical activity, which has been shown to increase range of motion.
In one study, children between the ages of 2 and 18 who received acupuncture reported improvement in pain. The average reduction in pain lasted for 3 days. This suggests that if you choose to use acupuncture to control pain, you may need to work with your practitioner to develop an ongoing program with frequent treatments. ..
Massage can be used as a complementary treatment to relieve pain and anxiety in children with juvenile arthritis.However, there is little evidence of efficacy supported by the study. A systematic review found only one very low-quality old study showing decreased stress hormone levels, pain, and anxiety.
Like exercise and other activities, yoga can help by keeping your body moving. Yoga is a mental and physical modality that incorporates breathing, pose movements, and thinking perceptions. One study found that yoga helps with pain intensity, the amount of stiffness experienced, and the persistence of morning stiffness.
A word from Verywell
Caring for a child with juvenile arthritis can be a daunting task, but understanding that there are treatment options can help relieve stress. Not all treatments are suitable for each child and it can take some time to find out what works best.
Improve children’s quality of life by proactively providing prescribed treatment with the help of a doctor and encouraging children to continue their activities and participate in childhood activities such as playing with school and friends. Can be improved.
There may be no cure for juvenile arthritis, but there are ways to enjoy childhood with this disease. Encourage your child to find them.
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